The Courtauld employs a part-time Careers Consultant, Karen Deadfield.
You can arrange one-to-one meetings and interview practice sessions with the Careers Consultant, Karen Deadfield, (firstname.lastname@example.org) for up to two years after you have graduated.
Alumni and current students can also attend our careers talks series which are organised by our Careers Consultant and some of our alumni. These take place from the period October to March and involve sessions on networking, interview technique, CV writing, and standing out in the job market.
Find out more about the career prospects that you can gain from studying at The Courtauld.
Careers Planning in Challenging Times
This is a strange time to be thinking about work and your career; we can all do with a little help.
Courtauld Careers works throughout the year, including during vacation periods, so feel free to book an appointment with Karen Deadfield whenever you need to talk about anything to do with career planning and job searching. You can contact her even if you don’t have a very clear idea of exactly what you want to talk about.
1. Take stock. Think about your key skills and the evidence you have from all areas of your experience for them. This is sometimes called a skills audit and there are various resources online to help you. This page from Prospects takes you through a career planning exercise and includes a section on identifying your skills. You could start by writing down everything you can think of then getting a friend or family member to help you add to the list and to the examples of you demonstrating the skills. When you have a good number, you could try the quiz on Prospects to see if you can also add your other preferences and your values, too.
2. Check your options. The added advantage of doing the Prospects quiz (see above) is that it gives you a list of jobs that might suit you which you can click through to investigate further in each of the role listings. It’s advisable to do the quiz mindfully rather than expecting it to come up with your dream job. If you’re unsure which career will suit you, you could try a virtual internship programme to build career skills or develop an understanding of a sector or role. Forage is worth a look. You could also research the sectors that interest you more generally. For example, if you are interested in a career in museums, it’s good to read around what’s happening in the sector. The Museums Association is a good source of information and has a number of resources and good advice under the ‘Careers’ tab. Current students can get a reduced-price membership which in turn gives discounts on museum entrance prices, training, networking and more.
3. Work out what and who can help you. This Guardian article in May acknowledged the challenge of the crisis but also offers some sound advice on what you can do and what you should not do. This article from ‘Gradlink’ has some sensible advice for how to study remotely which can also be applied to career planning and search.
Your mindset can help you move forward when times are tough. It’s easy to say ‘stay positive’ but the Growth Mindset slides in this talk from autumn 2019 give some practical advice on how to coach yourself.
LinkedIn is also great for finding people, but it isn’t just for networking. There are some great posts on how to cope with unexpected change. Read this article from Anna Levy, someone I recommend you follow. The Courtauld Wellbeing Team are also there for you should you feel anxiety or stress with your job search.
1. Identify target employers. Once you have an idea of the roles that interest you and the skills you offer, research the key employers you would most like to work for. Try to identify a maximum of ten and focus on them in batches of 3-4. What do they do? What are their plans? What entry-level roles might interest you? Log what you find out and make this a project you work on a little every week.
2. Building your community is so important right now. This is partly about making sure the people around you are supportive and constructive but also reaching out to others for information and support. You might think that people are too busy to want to respond but we are all feeling isolated and, maybe, it would be nice to get an email or call from someone they can spend a bit of time with, reflecting on their own career or supporting you getting started with yours. So, once you have your target employers, find a couple of interesting contacts and plan your approach! If you are not confident about doing this, read this article which gives some nice tips for networking if you are an introvert or dread meeting new people.
3. Update your LinkedIn profile and start using it to network! Your Careers Consultant can help you improve your profile if you are not confident it says what you want it to. However, it’s not just about the profile. Are you making connections (always do this from their profile page and add a note) and following target employers? Do you know how to find alumni and approach them for an information interview? Check out Raj Sidhu’s short video on how to network online to learn more about your target sector, find a mentor or get access to the vacancies that are never published externally.
- Update your CV ready to apply. It is especially important to tailor your CV carefully to each opportunity, even speculative ones. Show your understanding of the employer’s situation in the email or cover letter that accompanies it.
2. Volunteering can open doors. If you can afford to volunteer alongside some paid work, identify employers where volunteering could open up opportunities. Many arts jobs are never advertised publicly. Could you help with social media or digitising collections? Use your creativity to find an opportunity that they haven’t yet spotted themselves. There are other ways to get into heritage careers in the guidance sheet “Getting started in Museums and Heritage” in the resources section of the VLE.
3. If you are offered an interview, get some practice. You can book a practice interview with Karen to work on your answers or discuss feedback you may have received from an interview you have had. This article has great advice for those about to take both pre-recorded and live video interviews. Here is another great example of Raj’s YouTube series, this time on video interviews.
Some careers, especially for larger corporate or public organisations, may ask you to attened a virtual assessment centre. Although this article is intended for applicants with disabilities, it has some great advice for anyone preparing for an assessment centre.
Careers Consultant, Karen Deadfield runs 30-minute, individual consultations every Thursday (9:30-12:30) and Friday (13:30-16:30).
You can book an appointment with her up to three weeks in advance by using the online booking system. Please email IT Support@courtauld.ac.uk if you have any problems with the application. If you are a graduate and cannot access the online system, please email email@example.com and Karen will find a slot for you.
These slots can be used for anything you need in relation to careers guidance, such as:
– CV, cover letter and application advice
– Interview and assessment preparation
– Finding internships and graduate jobs (both inside and outside of the arts)
– Deciding what to do next
– Discussing further study and funding opportunities
– Support for international students with marketing their skills (please note that the careers consultant is not in the position to give advice on visas)
- Please use your Courtauld email account to book and do not book more than one appointment slot at once. If you do, the later slots will be cancelled
- It is important that you attend an appointment before deciding when you need any further advice
These sessions will be held via Zoom during the pandemic.
The following sites may be of use to you while career planning or looking for a job:
- prospects.ac.uk: In-depth information on a wide range of graduate roles and destinations
- gradsintocareers.co.uk: Advice and guidance on career choice and job hunting
- ccskills.org.uk: The national skills academy for creative and cultural industries
The Courtauld is always eager to advertise appropriate job and internship opportunities to current students and alumni. You can do this by emailing Imogen.Crockford@courtauld.ac.uk with a one-sentence summary (like the one below), along with a link to where the job is posted online.
[organisation name] is currently recruiting a [job title]. If you are interested in joining our small, fast-paced team click below to find out more and apply.